Tuesday, June 08, 2010

the shiur of challah

Rashi (15:20) writes that challah is called terumah because like terumah it has no shiur -- any amount (m'doraysa) may be given to the kohen to fulfill the mitzvah. Yet, one pasuk later, Rashi comments that the word "titnu" teaches that one must give a not-insignificant amount to the kohen so that it counts as a proper nesina, an act of giving. Is there a minimum amount required to fulfill challah or isn't there?

The Noda b'Yehuda answers (as we've discussed before, and here as well) that there are two aspects to the mitzvah of challah: 1) removing the status of tevel from the dough; 2) making a gift to the kohen. Seperating any amount of dough removes the status of tevel from the dough. However, to fulfill the mitzvah of nesina, of presenting a gift to the kohen, requires a more significant gift.


  1. this may be an answer to a question i've had for awhile- why couldn't challah be like the meat -kadlei d'chazeiri- that was mutar to eat w/o shechita for 14 years when BY entered into EY. (this q is according to the ramban that it was mutar lechatchilah for everyone, not like the Rambam that it was only for chalutzei tzava if they were hungry). so maybe challah is different b/c besides the issur of tevel, there is still a mitvah to be mafrish and that's why BY had to do it immediately in EY.

  2. the Divrei Chaim's article on Challah appears in http://issuu.com/ariellabrown/docs/summer10